A highly underrated, affordable, and fat-free snack we should all be grooving on way more often? Popcorn! From the 1890s until the Great Depression popcorn street vendors were common in towns and cities across America. Pushing their steam or gas powered popping carts through parks, fairs, parades, and public events they supplied popcorn to the gathered crowds. Their popped corn was one of few luxuries that most families could afford. Many popcorn businesses thrived during the Great Depression, while other businesses failed. Why? Economics. The vendors had little overhead, popcorn was inexpensive to make and sold for a very affordable price, creating more demand. In fact the popcorn vendors were making about 70 cents on a dollar.
Today popcorn is still one of America’s favorite, most pleasurable snack foods with Americans consuming roughly 17 billion quarts of popped popcorn each year or about 54 quarts per person. Why? It’s still economics. Popcorn is a great snack that’s not only delicious it’s a great value compared to most other snack foods today with 1/2 cup raw corn producing about 16 cups of popped corn.
Most people probably don’t know that popcorn is a 100% healthy whole grain and a quick, easy, and enjoyable way of getting whole grain benefits. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania recently reported that popcorn, like other whole grains, contains healthy antioxidants called polyphenols, “We really were surprised by the levels of polyphenols we found in popcorn. Early researchers thought that fiber was the active ingredient for the benefits of whole grain”…”But recently polyphenols emerged as potentially more important,” said Dr Joe Vinson, study leader and chemist. And eating more whole-grain foods may help reduce body fat in older adults, says a new U.S. study.
In 2003 the FDA’s Total Diet Study listed popcorn as one of the top ten foods most contaminated with POPS (persistent organic pollutants). POPS have been found to have serious health implications even when exposure is very low. Many of these chemicals mimic human and animal hormones and are capable of crossing the placenta during pregnancy. They’ve even been linked to the declining bird population and other species of animals. Take the POPS out of your popcorn and reach for EDEN Popcorn, certified organically grown on family farms. Don’t mess with non-organic popcorn. According to a recent article, when Chickens refused to eat the maize they had been fed, it led to the discovery that their feed had been genetically modified to include a well-known weed and insect killer. 96 percent of soy-based foods are genetically modified, so please, always choose organic.
Have a sweet tooth? Try this yummy, healthy snack!
Serves 8 | Prep. Time 10 minutes | Cook Time 15 minutes
Heat oil in a large pot and pop corn according to package directions. Place popped corn in a large bowl. Preheat oven to 350 °. Combine the barley malt, maple syrup, peanut butter and miso in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil over a high flame, stirring frequently. Reduce the flame to medium-low, stirring constantly for 5 to 7 minutes. Pour over the popcorn and mix thoroughly. Place the mixture on an cookie sheet (do not oil) and spread out evenly. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes. Immediately remove the caramel corn with a spatula to prevent sticking to the sheet.
* For those with allergies to peanuts, substitute almond or cashew butter; or omit.
Nutritional Info Per serving
250 Calories, 20g Fat (52% calories from fat), 4g Protein, 38g Carbohydrate, 3g Fiber, 0mg Cholesterol, 65mg Sodium
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